Just got on the train, folks jockeying for seats in measured and purposeful ways. Up ahead, a mid-western couple (grandparents I imagine), have completely clogged the aisle with two enormous black carry on bags (she in front & he stuck behind) .
With a nervous glance at the sudden building line of anxious faces behind him, he takes hold of the first trunk in an attempt to heave it high above his head to the racks.
‘No Ned, no – please your back – the trip …oh please!
Impulse urges me to intervene, to push ahead of a the quietly waiting family in front of me and assist but this is a man of great pride, as he never hesitates to look around for help. He is once again young on a train, with his bride before him.
A characteristic and determination that is instantly admirable.
I hold back.
Like a fake prop on stage, he impresses us all by deftly delivering the rear bag topside. All are now patient as he looks to the next.
‘No! please, for Heavens sakes Ned, no you cannot (she pleads) – let me help’
I nudge past the children.
Ned quickly bear hugs the second trunk which appears to be bolted to the floor. I move the three remaining feet to assist. Seconds later, he somehow already has it to his waist and together we place it on top.
He is embarrassed. His eyes have shifted downward to the right in the waiting stillness. It is then that I hear my voice, and it does not surprise me:
“Well. . . it’s certainly clear whose bag is whose.”
The woman appears slightly offended as I pass by and says: ‘and what exactly does . . .that mean?’
“I too, am married myself ma’am”.
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